Promotional Product Marketing Blog

Learn the best ways to market your brand with the use of promotional marketing products. Our blog gives you the best tips on ordering the right marketing merchandise to increase brand awareness within your target market. From creative marketing ideas to case studies of how others have used promotional items to promote their brand, we give you clear direction in aligning your promotional product campaign with your overall business goals.

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The Ultimate, Best Selling All-Day Sippers Side-by-Side


Best Sellers - Triple InsulationTrying to choose the right insulated water bottle can be challenging to say the least. Cup or tumbler? Mug or bottle? Hot or cold? Metal? Stainless?

And that’s before you choose a color.

Our goal? To dig into our latest and greatest drinkware offerings, helping you choose the perfect product for your business. We’ve created a series where we’ll stack a few options side-by-side calling out some key details and fun facts to consider as you’re deciding what to add to your promotional arsenal. First up, our Triple Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottles, in 17 or 26 ounce.

 

FIRST UP…

17.oz Triple Insulated Stainless Steel Custom Waterbottle

SPECS: A smaller bottle means increased portability without sacrificing usability. Consider this the ultimate in form-meets-function.

WHY WE ❤: Trying to get to the 64-ounce mark? Think of it as one fill before the office, one pre-lunch refresh, one before heading home and another before calling it a day. Easy.

MY IDEAL SIPPER: The type-A taskmaster — someone who loves to check things off of their to-do list and will feel uber-accomplished every time they hit the bottom of the bottle.

FUN FACT: In addition to keeping cold cold for 24 hours, hot drinks will still be piping come lunch — dinner, even.

GET CREATIVE: With a rock solid screw-top the contents of your bottle aren’t going anywhere. The end result? We’ve toted everything from homemade pasta sauce to hot fudge in this bottle.

KICK THINGS UP A NOTCH…

Freeze coffee in an ice cube tray, then add to your cold brew. If (OK, when…) you go back for seconds midday you’ll get an added jolt of java thanks to the still-cold cubes. Bonus!

THE CHALLENGER

26 oz. Triple Insulated Stainless Steel Custom Waterbottle

SPECS: 26 ounces of stainless steel vacuum copper insulation, complete with a twist-off lid for easy, leak-free access

WHY WE ❤: Despite its sleek proportions this bottle holds a lot — more than three full glasses of H2O or a Venti-plus serving of coffee.

MY IDEAL SIPPER: This bottle was built for all-day, all-purpose, all-drink use. No matter their drink, their drive or where this custom bottle needs to go, it’s up for the challenge. Consider it the ultimate partner-in-hydration.

FUN FACT: Cold drinks stay cold for up to 24 hours. Really — the ice will stay plenty icy all day long.

GET CREATIVE: Don’t be surprised to catch us sipping a little soup out of ours. When there’s no time for a lunch break — and no microwave in sight — it’s a super convenient way to refuel.

KICK THINGS UP A NOTCH…
Freeze fresh, whole berries and chopped up fruit, then pop into this insulated bottle before filling with water. The fruit will thaw over the next 12 to 24 hours, adding consistent flavor every time you refill.

So there you have it! Which one works best for your brand? Call us today and we can work together to get one of these best sellers incorporated into your next marketing campaign.


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Research Says These are the Best Promotional Giveaway Items


We’ve all received promotional products—pens, magnets, branded calendars. But as we travel deeper into the digital world with marketing and advertising following suit, these simple but useful giveaways are being forgotten by marketers. Research still supports that promotional giveaways are an effective way to entice and engage customers. Not convinced? The New York Times spoke to a professor of psychology and advertising, who explained that humans are wired to respond when given something. It’s just part of our cultural make-up and norms—we’re trained to reciprocate when given something. What does that mean for your company? When you give something to a customer, you’re increasing the likelihood of getting something in response, like signing up for your mailing list, or even purchasing a product you’re selling.People Happy After Receiving A Gift

This 2016 study does an amazing job outlining some of the most popular giveaways by asking U.S. consumers which products they currently owned, broken down by gender, location and more. Highlighted promotional products included writing instruments, which are owned by 50% of U.S. consumers, and drinkware, which are owned by 53%! Below, we dive into the research to give you the 5 best promotional items to consider for your next giveaway.

1. USB Flash Drives

45% of U.S. Consumers own a promotional USB drive. Even more impressive? A whopping 91% of users say that they keep them because of their usefulness in their daily lives. For a brand looking to make an impact, what more could you really ask for in a promotional product? The dream is that potential customers keep your giveaway around long enough to not only leave an impression on them, but perhaps those around them. With that in mind, think about the utility of a USB—it’s a great way to transfer digital information. So, while some folks will use it as their personal backup, others will use it to hand off information to someone else, like a colleague or friend, thereby transferring knowledge of your brand forward. USB drives are a perfect item for a corporate-oriented giveaway, including conferences and job fairs.

2. Drinkware

Drinkware includes a variety of potential items, like mugs (great for keeping on an office desk), or to-go tumblers (perfect for traveling business folks and busy parents alike). ASI’s 2016 study found that half of U.S. owners of branded drinkware use it several times every week. That is a ton of opportunity for them to not only use the product, but have your brand become ingrained in memory. If you opt for drinkware are your promotional item, quality should be an important consideration. As the research above points out, people will keep their drinkware around for a while In fact, According to a study by the British Promotional Merchandise Association, 87% of participants who received a free promotional product kept it for over a year, Drinkware is a perfect item to give away when promoting a food or drink product, as well as at sporting (water bottles) or business events (everyone needs a good office mug).

3. T-shirtsT-Shirts Are Loved By Everyone

Ah, the almighty branded t-shirt, owned and loved by 58% of the U.S. population. In fact, every age group studied clocked in at over half (56%-60%) owning logoed t-shirts. Having your brand on a t-shirt is a great way to start conversations, get noticed and make some noise. As promotional giveaways, t-shirts are versatile and work at almost any event you’d like to commemorate including festivals, tech conferences, and more.

4. Bags

In the U.S., branded bags create the most impressions of all promotional products. There are a few reasons to explain this. Unlike a mug or pen, bags are used when out and about to carry items in high-trafficked places. This gives them a fantastic opportunity to be seen, which serves to expand your brand reach. For this reason, it’s especially worth investing in a catchy design and easily recognizable logo to make sure your bag stands out when in a crowd. As for when to hand them out, they work great at conferences and trade shows (perfect option for attendees to carry all the other items they collect while traveling from booth to booth).

5. Lip Balm

Our Full Color Lip Balm Tub - 100 piecesIn the bottom of every purse lays a lip balm—or commonly, a handful of them. The popularity of this simple beauty product has surged over the past few years. In fact, a Marie Claire survey found that half of their readers considered lip balm an essential office item, and the number two item they’d pick for a desert island. That’s some serious lip balm love—making it a perfect promotional product. Like a USB drive, lip balm is small—easily fitting in a pocket or handbag, its unisex, and it’s a $660 million industry. Lip balm is a perfect giveaway item for a convention, as planes are known to cause dry skin for travelers.

When you invest in promotional products, you want to be sure it’s going to be a success with consumers. By choosing one of the best promotional giveaway items listed in this piece, you can feel confident you’ll not only entice potential customers but have a wider reach by using some of the most popular items available. As discussed, each of these products has real staying power, creating value for both the consumer and your brand. And, circling back to the top, offering useful and helpful products to prospective customers means a higher chance for positive brand engagement.


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Pick Your Power: Our Go-to Power Banks Side-by-Side


Face it: We’ve all left home in the morning without our faithful phone charger. And it’s not good.

You’re not alone. No doubt your clients, vendors, partners and employees have been stuck out and about without that all-important cable or portable charger. That’s why we’re all about having these power banks on hand. Slim, sleek and designed to toss in your bag or pocket and go, these custom chargers will keep smartphones and tablets ready for action – and, when you’re pounding the pavement, that’s a must.

So, then, the big question: which power bank to pick? Here’s how they stack up, side by side…

Our Two Best Selling Powerbanks

GIVE ME SOME HONEY

Slim Honeycomb Power Bank – 3000 mAh

SPECS: Powered by a 3000 mAh polymer lithium battery, this power bank can get your device fully juiced and ready for whatever the day tosses your way.

WHY WE ❤: It’s all about the pop of color with this power bank. Choose from pink, red, blue, black or white on white – or go crazy and mix and match colors so you’re well stocked for last minute meetings, client gift backs and end-of-year “thank yous.”

MY IDEAL USER: Functional, fun and very easy to use, this power bank is perfect for any client or partner who claims they aren’t so tech-savvy. Simply charge it up and you’ve got enough power to get your phone or tablet back up and running – it couldn’t be easier.

FUN FACT: While most power banks are pretty small, this one is especially slim and sleek. Slip it in your pocket and it’s instantly undetectable.

GET CREATIVE: Before giving your custom power banks out, be sure to charge them up. Recipients will want to use them right away and, if they can’t, your premium might wind up relegated to a drawer…not ideal.

THE CHALLENGER

Faux Leather Power Bank – 6000 mAh

SPECS: With double the storage – and more charging power – this on-trend power bank looks and feels upscale and high-value. And, like its honeycomb counterpart, it’s slim, sleek and totally portable.

WHY WE ❤: Two words: faux leather. This power bank looks as cool as it is, with a sleek, executive-inspired finish.

MY IDEAL USER: The executive on the move – the faux leather makes this power bank an ideal on-hand item for the jet-setting CEO who needs his/her devices ready for action 24/7.

FUN FACT: This power bank charges not one device but TWO. iPhone® and iPad®? “Work”: home and “home” phone? Kid’s tablet and Apple® Watch? Check and check.

GET CREATIVE: This is the perfect corporate gift on its own, but, if you want to kick things up a notch, consider creating a “to go” kit around a power bank. Ideal for the constant traveler or road warrior, toss in all the good stuff she’ll need for her next adventure – a power bank, passport holder, stainless-steel bottle and other on-the-road essentials.


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Raise a Glass to November! 5 Reasons to Toast Our Latest Product of the Month


The holidays are fast-approaching – and if that’s not reason enough to raise an extra glass or two, we don’t know what is. That’s why we’re all about November’s Product of the Month: our always-in-demand Dual Wall Stemless Stainless-Steel Wine Tumbler .Our Wine Tumblers

There’s a reason this wine tumbler is such a popular promo piece – and lots of reasons we’re elevating it to POTM status this month. For starters…

#1. It’s Super On-trend

We’re in the midst of a vino revolution. The U.S. is officially the biggest wine-consuming nation in the world and your average customer is sipping on three gallons of wine per year. And, likely, much of that glass-raising is happening over the next few weeks.

In other words, this is the perfect time for a custom wine tumbler. No doubt your clients will get tons of use out of this tumbler, during the holiday season and beyond. For an even bigger impact, consider doubling up your gifting, even, and offering each client a pair of tumblers. After all, who wants to toast to anything alone?

#2. Doesn’t Discriminate

Red, white, rose, sparkling, sangria, mulled – this tumbler does not care. No matter the user’s wine preference, this tumbler keeps drinks at the perfect temperate whether that’s ice cold or not. Whenever someone takes a sip, their vino will be ready for action.

#3. Take it Anywhere, Anytime

From apple cider sangria for that post-Thanksgiving Dinner walk to hot mulled wine while caroling, your customers will love how easy to use and easy to carry this custom tumbler is. Because it’s stemless and stainless, it’s lightweight, and, again, keeps wine at the perfect temperature.

And, of course, once the weather picks back up, this tumbler is ideal for picnics, outdoor concerts and beach days – if there’s wine involved (or if wine could be involved…), this tumbler’s a must. With spill-resistant lids, it’s truly a go-anywhere, do-anything glass. Cheers to that.

#4. Never Smashes

Everyone loves a chic stemless wine glass. The only problem? They break. Even with careful use, after a while and a few too many toasts, fragile glasses tend to give – and that’s no good. But even with endless “cheers,” endless pours and endless uses, this stainless-steel tumbler will never crack, chip or cave – and that means tons of use and tons of added exposure for your brand.

#5. Promotes Good Health…

From better heart health to safeguarding from some cancers to preventing vision loss, there are tons of benefits to sipping on red wine daily. So, really, in giving your customers a wine tumbler or two, you’re indirectly supporting their heart health…right? Right! Another reason to raise a glass – or, in this case, a tumbler!

Learn more about November’s Product of the Month here , or get in touch to customize your order.

Love seeing our monthly picks? Here’s October’s in case you missed it.


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6 Holiday Gifts That Make a Sweet-and-Savory Statement


Nothing says “tis the season” quite like a festive bite (or two…). From sweet treats to savory snacks to DIY cookies perfect for your clients, customers and their families, these holiday favorites ring in the season in a big way – and, this year, we’re counting down the days until we can whip up a batch, crack open a tin and sink our teeth in. This holiday season, we’re starting with a few classic faves, adding in some new must-eats and sprinkling in some super festive snacks and sips we can’t get enough of. As you’re making your list and checking it twice, start here.

Brand these fun, festive holiday food gifts and make a serious seasonal statement.

#1. S’mores Kits

Think s’mores are only for camping trips? Think again. These Gable Box Kits are perfect for holiday gifting. Want to go big? These larger kits come complete with everything you need to make three full-size s’mores.

#2. Hot Cocoa Kits

Everyone loves a stainless-steel tumbler – but, as the holidays roll in, everyone especially loves a tumbler topped off with some festive hot cocoa. This Ghirardelli® Cocoa Kit is the best of both worlds, with a custom tumbler that keeps cocoa, coffee or tea hot, and their famous double chocolate cocoa.

Another perfect pick? This LEEMAN® NYC Tuscany set includes cocoa, two cups and a sleek faux leather-bound journal perfect for making those naughty and nice lists.

#3. Hot Chocolate on a Spoon

Want to go cup-less? Fun and festive, Hot Chocolate on a Spoon is it. Each spoon features a delicious Belgian chocolate square topped with mini marshmallows, all packaged for holiday gifting. Simply stir into a cup of hot water or milk for an instant cup of hot cocoa and marshmallows.

An alternative to the spoon? These all-in-one cups – simply add hot water, stir and sip.

#4. Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Speaking of mixing it up, this branded Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix is the perfect gift for the baker or non-baker on your list. Not only does this mix deliver the perfect “a little bit chewy/a little bit crispy” cookies every time, but it only require two ingredients (butter and an egg – easy!) to complete.

#5. Chocolate-Covered Pretzel Kit

Another DIY fave is this new classic – make-your-own chocolate-covered pretzel rods. As easy to perfect as the cookies, these pretzels are destined to become a seasonal must-have around your office. Simply melt the chocolate, dip a pretzel and top with a favorite candy – or candies. It’s all included –  everything your clients and customers need to make a sweet and salty holiday treat.

#6. Towers, Tins, Totes and Crates

Want to really wow recipients? These towers, tins, totes and crates are the perfect place to start.

Two gallon popcorn tins contain three seasonal favorites – butter, cheddar and caramel. Sink into these gourmet kernels and you’ll never go back to regular popcorn – trust us.

Want popcorn – and then some? We don’t blame you. And that’s why this Gourmet Treats Custom Gift Tote is a holiday classic and a popular choice in the “off-season.” Not only is this tote packed with everyone’s favorites – lemon cookies, berry and fruit nut mix, peanut crunch, butter toffee caramels and, yes, that amazing caramel popcorn, but the branded tote is the perfect carry-all once the snacks run out.

If you’re all about the cookies, this jam-packed crate of crisps and cookies is the way to go. With classic seasonal flavors including chocolate, lemon meringue, snickerdoodle, mixed berry, cranberry shortbread and, of course, chocolate chip, this oversized cookie delivery will keep your clients and customers snacking all season – and thinking of you with every bite.

And if it’s all about making the ultimate snacking statement, this is it: the Gourmet Snacks Gift Box Tower – yes, tower. This four-tier tower is overflowing with tons of treats perfect for every palate – think lemon cookies, honey mustard pretzel nuggets, peanut brittle crunch, shortbread, chocolate-covered almonds, wafer cookies and more. Tie it all up with a custom ribbon and your tower is good to go – and sure to be the favorite gift this season.

We’ve rounded up even more amazing holiday food gifts here. Have questions? Get in touch to discuss your holiday gift order now!

 


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10 Fresh Ideas for Marketing to Moms


Moms have major spending power— an estimated $2.4 trillion. If you’re not marketing to them, your business is missing out. Moms make 85% of household purchases even when 50% of these products are marketed to males. However according to moms, many of the marketing strategies aimed at them aren’t getting it right.

10 Ideas When Marketing to Moms As highlighted above, getting it right with this audience has giant return on investment potential – and not just on Mother’s Day. Moms make these purchases year-round. Don’t make the mistake of pigeonholing your campaign around a single day once a year.

This amazing infographic does a phenomenal job explaining everything marketers are getting wrong when marketing to moms, while offering solutions to better engage this powerful audience. In summary? Moms (as they view themselves) are exhausted, flawed, social media savvy, and frankly, find motherhood emotionally complex. Painting them as the saint, hardest worker in the world, or being blatantly sexist isn’t reaching them. And frankly, it could be turning them away from your brand.

Below, we offer 10 fresh ideas for capturing this large audience, including both in-person and online. Whichever you choose, we caution you to really take in the infographic mentioned above, so that you don’t miss the mark with moms. Your campaign needs to be genuine, showing that your brand really gets the ups and downs, trials and tribulations, and of course, the joy of modern motherhood.
 

Marketing to Moms In-Person

 

Idea #1: Offer a Free Bonus Add-On

Consider offering a mini chair massage or small gift as a thank you for their purchase. This could be for spending a certain dollar amount over a set amount of time (for example, $100 over the course of a month), or simply as a “mom appreciation” day. Moms are constantly doing for others—namely their children. Offering them a reprieve, no matter how small, won’t go unnoticed. And hey, it just may push them to spend a bit more.

Idea #2: Give Out Branded and Reusable Grocery Bags

Our Shopping Promo Tote BagMoms are forever carrying things – diapers, wipes, snacks, sippy cups, extra clothes, blankets…the list goes on. While reusable grocery bags have surged in popularity for many shoppers, moms can always use the extra space. In the meantime, your brand is hitching a ride on someone pretty much constantly on the go.

Idea #3: Offer Kid-Friendly Deals or Promotions

Some examples could be a “kids eat free” lunch or dinner special, free kids nail painting when mom gets a manicure, or even a kid-friendly happy hour shopping deal, complete with juice and snacks to occupy them while mom shops. Regardless of the type of business you have, if you want to pull the moms in, don’t forget about their little loves, who are likely trailing behind them. Including them in your marketing strategy is a great way to appeal to moms—and hopefully win them over.

Idea #4: Offer Baby-Sitting

This is like the holy grail of sweet deals for any mom. Children are a wonder, but they’re also exhausting. Offering a short reprieve so mom can shop uninterrupted is HUGE. Ikea is a great example of this strategy in action with their Smaland, which essentially offers free babysitting while parents shop. This concept also works well in gyms and spas. If you can’t offer something as sweet as Smaland, you can still use the concept of occupying the children so mom can shop by having a “kiddie corner” space with cartoons, a comfy rug with large pillows for sitting on, snacks, and toys. Another idea? Host a weekly/monthly kiddie corner storytelling hour or craft. Same concept—mom shops, kids are occupied. Everyone’s happy.

Idea #5: Give Out Branded To-Go Tumblers and Travel MugsOur Triple Insulated Stainless Steel Custom Tumbler

Moms really can’t have too much coffee due to the combination of a busy life and little sleep. Coffee is basically a Moms lifeblood. Endear your brand to them by providing a container that not only lets them take it to-go but keeps it warm (or cold) while bouncing between work, playdates, school drop-offs, and ballet practice.
 

Marketing to Moms Online

 

Idea #1: Market to Moms on Facebook

Moms have a huge presence on social media and especially Facebook. BUT, your brand needs to be there for a reason, otherwise you’ll be ignored. Offer them something—a discount, a contest, an exclusive something they can’t get or find elsewhere. If you are asking them to buy something, make sure they can do it easily and quickly right from your ad or post, otherwise they’ll likely move on (remember, free time for a mom is usually limited).

Idea #2: Offer Free Shipping or Giftwrapping.

Everyone loves free shipping but remember, moms in-particular are buying a ton of stuff, on top of their already brimming lives. Ordering online is a huge timesaver—tack on a mom-discount in the way of free shipping and you’ll get their attention. Add free giftwrapping for moms (who are buying birthday gifts, holiday presents, teacher appreciation tokens, and more to earn a repeat customer.

Idea #3: Generate Buzz with a Social Media Campaign

Moms love sharing pictures and funny stories of their babes. Combine that with their use of social media and you’re onto something. Create a contest that relates to your product and let moms generate painfully cute content for you by using your unique hashtag. Highlight a picture (Instagram) or story (Facebook) every few days to keep momentum going over the course of the campaign, all of which (could) accumulate to a prize at the end of it (again, in-line with your product/service). Here are some great Instagram-specific ideas for a social media content campaign.

Idea #4: Build Trust from Moms

Create a marketing campaign geared at collecting recommendations and referrals. Moms trust other moms most. This is key to understand, because it means that regardless of how brilliant and convincing your campaign may be, it’s not going to compare to “real stories”. Use this to your benefit by inviting those in and making them part of your strategy. Create a point system with rewards for each review or referral. For instance, Albee Baby has a great reward program that credits purchases, reviews, and referrals.

Idea #5: Host a Contest

There are a ton of benefits to holding contests for your brand, like engaging prospective customers, and building your email marketing lists. What’s in it for the mom? A prize. Obviously, the greater the prize, the more eager moms will be to join in on the fun. Run a travel agency? A free vacation will have them practically salivating. Launching a beauty product? A gift basket of goodies for the overworked momma will be hugely appreciated. Contests can be part of Idea #3 (hashtag social media campaign) and Idea #4 (collecting recommendations and referrals). The good news—they can be done entirely online, expanding your audience across the nation, or even globally.

How moms do it all may forever remain a mystery (even to themselves), but it doesn’t mean they’re a complete enigma. Going after the mom audience has major potential due to their buying power but be sure you do so from a place of sincere care and understanding for their hectic lives. Offer solutions to their most common problems (Too much to do! Not enough me time!) and attract them with something that makes life easier for them, even if just for a few minutes.


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Expert Tips: 20 Small Business Marketing Ideas


With tight budgets and limited resources, growing a small business can be a challenge. At ePromos, we specialize in providing custom printed promotional products for small businesses that are perfect for giveaways at trade shows, conventions and community events.

However, we wanted to hear from the experts, so we have assembled 20 of our favorite small business marketing ideas from professionals in the industry. Here are some tips with proven success for expanding the reach of your brand both digitally and locally.

 

1. Team Up with Businesses in Your Community

One thing I recommend for a new business is to get out there and do some cross-promotions with other small businesses in your area. This can be sponsoring a charity event, a concert, or a community festival. This is a great way for other people in the community to see your brand and get to know what your business is all about.

Matt Ruley, Owner, WFHOffice

 

2. Get the Most Out of Your Social Media Pages

Many people think of social media for socializing, and search engines for searching.

Jason Lavis, Managing Director, Out of the Box InnovationsThe search boxes inside social media websites and apps get a considerable number of searches. For example, more people search on YouTube than both Yahoo and Bing. Your company’s community and business pages will get discovered by people searching for the products and services you offer. With limited space in the title, bio and about sections, focus on adding the buyer keywords that your customers are likely to be typing. Use fewer generic words like ‘professional’, ‘dynamic’ and ‘quality’. Use more keywords like ‘kids parties’, ‘best moisturizer’, gardening supplies’ or whatever you’re selling.

Jason Lavis, Managing Director, Out of the Box Innovations

 

3. Local Events with Branded Displays

Melissa Stern, Executive Director, Comprehensive Cranium CareAs a new online small business, we found it challenging to get in front of new customers. One of our most successful early efforts was participating in local street festivals. The opportunity to have one-to-one conversations with new and potential customers is invaluable, particularly if you have a unique product and a niche market as we do. It’s also worth investing in branded assets for these events, as the visibility and brand recognition provided by having a high-quality branded setup for these events is worth the initial cost. We continue to see value from the initial investment in our setup and can use it for years to come.

Melissa Stern, Executive Director, Comprehensive Cranium Care

 

4. Get Found in Local Search

One of the best (and free!) ways to promote your small business is through local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – meaning, ranking in the “unpaid” search results that appear below the map of your local area.

Zack Reboletti, Owner & SEO Consultant, Web FocusedTo get started, create or verify your business with Google My Business, making sure to select the most relevant/specific business category and complete all available fields. Next, make sure the Title Tags on your main website pages contain 1 – 2 key phrases specific to each page, followed by your city (e.g. Dry-Cleaning Services – Chicago, IL). Lastly, get 3 – 5 relevant websites to link to your website. Quick wins often come from reaching out to organizations, associations, and any other local business entities you’re affiliated with.

Zack Reboletti, Owner & SEO Consultant, Web Focused

 

5. Don’t Overlook Direct Marketing

Jon Nastor, Creator & Host, Hack the EntrepreneurOne excellent offline strategy for small businesses is door-to-door flyers. They are simple, easy to test, and cost-effective, making it accessible for most. Direct marketing has produced billions of dollars in sales for companies – because it works. In recent years, its effectiveness has increased as more companies overlook this simple marketing method. To get the most bang for your buck, keep your ad focused on your product or service’s benefit to the customer, and test paper color, offer, and the neighborhood of distribution.

Jon Nastor, Creator & Host, Hack the Entrepreneur

 

6. Network at Coworking Spaces

Paul Davis, Owner, Paul Davis Solutions

A local coworking spot is always one of the first places I connect with other businesses. As a marketer, these B2B relationships are ideal for leads and referrals. Even a B2C business can still benefit from growing their local network.

Paul Davis, Owner, Paul Davis Solutions

 

7. Host Your Own Event

Rodger Roeser, CEO, The Eisen AgencyOne of the simplest and smartest use of limited resources is a combination networking/letter writing program. Find groups or organizations that most closely align with the types of clients or customers you are seeking and get involved. Attend the networking events, gather business cards and regularly send out direct letters to those folks to invite them to an event or some type of program you are hosting at your space – and make it something fun but related to what you do – for example, a tea, a business roundtable, a beer tasting or whatever. These direct and purposeful networking/follow up programs create a sense of trust with potential clients and not only build leads, but also build your credibility and your brand.

Rodger Roeser, CEO, The Eisen Agency

 

8. Leverage Pinterest for Your Brand

Even on a tight budget, a small business can take full advantage of social platforms, especially Pinterest.

Arya Bina, CEO, Kobe DigitalPinterest is second only to Facebook as the most popular social media platform when it comes to influencing buyers. This makes perfect sense as Pinterest users go on the platform to get inspired by items they want to buy. Once an account is set up and a business has chosen which products they wish to promote, the next step is to market their brand by creating a “board” and adding “pins”. An important step to remember is to include simple keywords, clear descriptions, and stunning images to optimize your marketing on Pinterest.

Arya Bina, CEO, Kobe Digital

 

9. Encourage Online Reviews

For a small or local business, being found online is critical to survive. Potential customers are looking for what other people are saying about your brand. That’s where online reviews come in. Not only do consumers actively seek out reviews, but because of this, Google rewards businesses with reviews with higher rankings in local search results.

Studies show that having more reviews means more leads and more sales. So how do you get online reviews? It’s not as hard as you think (and it’s cheap). All you must do is ask. The best time to do this is right after the sale. When thanking the customer for their business take the opportunity to also ask them to leave a review on Google or Yelp. You won’t get a review from everyone you ask, but over time, you will see an increase in the number of reviews.

Matt Stone, Founder, Review Ignite

 

10. Schedule Social Media Posts in Advance

A great way to marketing your small business with a limited budget is social media. You can reach thousands of people if you are using social media properly. One tool that is very helpful for social media tracking and posting is called Buffer. It is a free tool you can use to post social media posts in advance, as well as see how your posts are doing.

Samantha Walls, Inbound Marketing Manager, InTouch MarketingYou will want to spend anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour a day focusing on social media and deciding which social media posts are resonating with your followers and planning out your future social media posts. Make sure that when you are posting on social media you are not only talking about yourself and your company. You want to be a thought leader for your industry and post helpful articles, infographics and news to help your followers.

 

Samantha Walls, Inbound Marketing Manager, InTouch Marketing

 

11. Find Your Happy Customers

Deborah Sweeney, CEO, MyCorporationWord of mouth is one of the best forms of increasing your sales and it’s all free! You should already be identifying customers that have had good experiences with your business and trying to learn what made the experience so positive for them, but if you’re not, a quick customer satisfaction survey is convenient to institute and very beneficial for you. Out of these responses, find the people who really had the best experience (9 or 10 rankings on a 1-10 scale) and target them as your advocates. These people will be the most beneficial for you and are typically the most inclined to pass on good comments. Then, take your targets and encourage them to tell customers about your business.

Deborah Sweeney, CEO, MyCorporation

 

12. Try Bing for Budget-Friendly Ads

Craig De Borba, Digital Marketing Specialist, Onpoint Internet MarketingThe real challenge for a small business online is getting visitors to your website or offer on a small budget. This can be best achieved by utilizing the lower cost Bing PPC (Pay Per Click) ads and bidding on very specific phrases and exact match keywords. Paid ads are the fastest way to get visitors to a website and while most organizations are focusing on Google, small businesses take advantage of the much lower costs available to them on Bing to drive more traffic for less money.

Craig De Borba, Digital Marketing Specialist, Onpoint Internet Marketing

 

13. Partner with Relevant Businesses

Alicia Ward, Digital Marketing Strategist, FlaukLook for other businesses who target the same customers but aren’t a direct competitor and approach them for a partnership. By pooling resources such as social followings, email lists, offerings and budgets, you can create some great campaigns. Or, host events where both businesses can benefit and expose your company to a new audience. Just make sure to do your research and make sure your potential business partner is trustworthy!

Alicia Ward, Digital Marketing Strategist, Flauk

 

14. Establish Trust with Testimonials

James Feldstein, Owner, Audio DenIf your company doesn’t have an established brand, it can be challenging to get your name out there. It’s a good idea to include client testimonials or product reviews on your website. People trust the advice of your past customers. If your customers have good things to say, it’s usually a good sign. Testimonials, case studies, and reviews serve as powerful social proof that can help you attract new business and establish credibility.

James Feldstein, Owner, Audio Den

 

15. Optimize Your Blogging Strategy

One of the best ways to increase online visibility is blogging for search engine optimization (SEO). This strategy has worked well for my small business, plus I’ve seen it work well for clients that invested long term.

Erika Taylor Montgomery, CEO, Three Girls Media
Publish posts regularly: Search engines monitor websites for new content; the more you update, the more often they’ll come back and index your posts. Even publishing once a week, on the same day and at the same time, can greatly benefit your SEO.
Focus on longer articles: Many top performing posts on Google are 1,000 words or more.
Use keywords strategically: Sprinkle them throughout your post and make sure you include them in your headline, introduction, subheads, conclusion, image captions and meta description.
Publicize your posts: Share your content via social media and e-newsletters. If you have the budget for it, consider running social media ads around them.

Erika Taylor Montgomery, CEO, Three Girls Media

 

16. Share Your Quality Content on Reddit

Leverage Reddit, the bare-bones social network, for a powerful yet low-budget way to drive traffic to your small business website. Reddit has been known to jumpstart the careers of small business owners and entrepreneurs, but it must be used strategically.

Juuso Lyytikkä, Head of Growth, Funnel.ioThe social network is made up of a community of very tech-savvy readers who condemn all obvious marketing tactics. To win at Reddit, you must only share truly awesome content in small, hyper-focused subcategories (referred to as subreddits). Any attempts at overtly promotional sales tactics will likely result in negative comments and a possible ban. The key is to find your niche and dominate it with useful content that interests readers in that community.

Juuso Lyytikkä, Head of Growth, Funnel.io

 

17. Social Media Ads Are Effective and Affordable

Tracy Julien, VP of Marketing, GuidedChoiceAdvertising across the main social media platforms is a great tool you should be utilizing in your current marketing campaign. These ads are cheap and can get your business in front of the right set of eyes. The best part about social media ads is the outstanding metrics that you can use to track if your current campaign is successful or not. Also, being able to target specific people, locations, products, etc. is a great asset. Test out which platform you deem is best for your business and set a plan to execute!

Tracy Julien, VP of Marketing, GuidedChoice

 

18. Build a Referral Network

The key to building a successful referral network is to be super clear on who you work with and how you can help them. The people in your network need to be able to talk to someone and IMMEDIATELY think of you as the solution to their problem.

Shannon Howard, Senior Digital Marketing Strategist, Overit MediaI helped a local gym get clear that their market was injured athletes – often from CrossFit-type gyms. That opened the door to make strategic partnerships with local sports medicine practitioners, chiropractors, physical therapists, and athletic coaches in the area, all with a clear message: We help injured athletes recover faster in a safe, fun environment.

Shannon Howard, Senior Digital Marketing Strategist, Overit Media

 

19. Make Use of Relevant Facebook Groups

Gregory Golinski, Head of Digital Marketing, YourParkingSpaceJoin as many Facebook groups as possible, as long as they are related to your industry. Publish links to your blog posts on these groups, without spamming them. If the content brings added value to the community, it will bring traffic from Facebook group users to your website.

Gregory Golinski, Head of Digital Marketing, YourParkingSpace

 

20. Pre-Screen Customer Reviews

If the customer is king, then customer reviews are royal pronouncements from on high…usually either “off with your head!” or “I hereby knight thee!”

Chas Cooper, CEO, Rising Star ReviewsSmall business owners deserve credit for happy customers. They can get it by pre-screening customers, then asking for reviews. The idea is simple and timeless: First, ask a customer for honest feedback. Then, encourage happy customers to share their experience in a review on a major review site. For customers who aren’t quite happy enough yet, get more details about what improvements could make them (and customers like them) happy in the future. This way, you win no matter what the customer says when you pre-screen them. You either get public credit for a job well done, or you get valuable feedback to help you keep doing a better job in the future.

Chas Cooper, CEO, Rising Star Reviews

 


These 20 budget-friendly marketing strategies for small businesses can attract new customers, improve the credibility of your brand and help you make valuable partnerships in your industry. Regardless of which ideas you choose, keep in mind that one of the keys to a successful marketing campaign is evaluating the results and fine-tuning your approach.

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